China has ordered its authorities and state-backed companies to stop using imported hardware and software. Foreign PCs and programs are being replaced by local alternatives. The ban affects millions of systems.
In China, PCs and programs from abroad would disappear
China’s tech lockdown policy is being taken to a whole new level. As Bloomberg reported, the state leadership has issued an executive order to central government agencies and state-backed companies that will have a huge impact. All computers and programs from abroad must be replaced with local alternatives within two years.
The report cites “sources familiar with the matter” that at least 50 million computers at the public sector level alone are to be replaced by the measure. Figures for the myriad of companies that should be considered state aid in China are not given here, however – significantly more PCs are likely to be affected here. The expansion to provincial governments is also already planned.
Big Brands Targeted Including HP and Dell
However, China cannot make the ban so easy on itself. The government is specifically targeting companies such as HP and Dell, which are the country’s largest PC sellers after Lenovo. On the software side, companies like Microsoft and Adobe have to consider a state-ordered exclusion. However, there is still one area where China has been slow to put up walls: hard-to-replace components, including microprocessors, remain banned for the time being.
For local manufacturers, of course, the scheme presents a huge opportunity: Lenovo, Huawei, and Inspur are now among the largest IT manufacturers in the world, and developers like Kingsoft and Standard Software are coming up with Linux-based alternatives for increasingly important job applications in recent years. It will be very interesting to see how the conversion from Chinese IT to local providers will go.
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